Jim Booth guest commentary over at Southern Creatives

If you’ve been paying attention you know that our boy Jim Booth recently published a novel. And that it’s really good. And that it presents us with the opportunity to consider fame and substance at war over the soul of an artist.

He has now authored a guest essay on “Southern Rock Stardom, Postmodernism, and the Persistence of Memory” over at Melinda McGuire’s outstanding Southern lit-focused site, concluding, appropriately enough that:

Here in the South, rock stars respect memory as all good Southerners do and, after all their wanderings, come back home where memory matters, Thomas Wolfe and postmodernism be damned.

Hear, hear. Give it a read.

Moby Dick Big Read

Now that the nights are getting longer, darker, and colder, here’s the perfect thing: a reading of Moby Dick, all 136 chapters—Moby Dick Big Read. This is not the 24-hour marathon reading that the charming New Bedford Whaling Museum organizes every year to welcome in the New Year. This is a more ambitious project, organized by author Philip Hoare (whose Leviathan, or The Whale was published to some acclaim a couple of years ago) and artist Angela Cockayne, in conjunction with Plymouth University. It’s a web-based reading, with a new chapter appearing every day.

Fortunately, the old ones are still up there, so you can catch up. Each day, each new chapter has a new reader, and a new artwork accompanying the reading. Splendid—Melville would be appreciative.

Whaling graphic: Rockwell Kent

It's a tablet! It's a computer! It's an opportunity!

I love hearing about new gadgets and technology, so when Microsoft introduced its new tablets, with a detachable keyboard and the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, I was pretty excited about the new opportunities the tech would create.

From the technical side of things, the tablet has a step up on Apple’s iPad with the detachable keyboard – making it not just a tablet, but a small computer. Apple still seems to have the advantage of an easier operating system, though: while Apple’s OSX (in whatever jungle cat variety you happen to own) is seen as pretty idiot-proof, Windows 8 takes some getting used to.

But rather than focus on this particular tablet, I think it’s interesting to think about the potential for this tablet (and those like it) to engage voters and canvass more effectively before elections.

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